Years ago I wrote a blog on the importance of attitude in networking and recently I’ve had several situations arise which have reminded me yet again that attitude shapes the outcome of everyday dealings in huge ways so I’d like to revisit the idea in today’s blog post .
Some days my schedule involves marathon radio interviews beginning at 4 a.m. and, as you can imagine, getting up at an hour when roosters haven’t even begun to think about warming up their vocal chords is not the most enticing of tasks. However, as the Founder & Chairman of BNI®, the world’s largest business networking organization, I agree to do these interviews at such an outrageous hour because it is my responsibility to do whatever needs to be done to network for the organization.
Now, can you imagine what would happen if I answered the interviewer’s first question–which is always “How are you doing today, Dr. Misner?”–by grumbling about how I had stubbed my toe and how I wished I was back in my warm bed? Well, what would happen is that people would be immediately turned off by my negative attitude and nobody would listen to me.
This brings me to my point that in order to be a master networker, you must always maintain a positive attitude no matter what. With over two decades of professional networking experience, one thing I’ve learned is how important it is to have a positive attitude in order to successfully network. And if I’m going to go around telling other people how to discipline and train themselves to network effectively, then I darn well better be walking the walk (or at least limping along, stubbed toe and all) and maintaining the positive attitude of a master networker.
Now that I’ve shared the second most important trait of a master networker, I figure might as well give you the other nine. Here they are, ranked in order of their perceived importance to networking:
1. Follows up on referrals
2. Positive attitude
5. Good listening skills
6. Networks always
7. Thanks people
8. Enjoys helping
10. Works their network.
Starting this week, try making a conscious effort to be aware of your attitude at all times and if it could stand some improvement think about three simple things you could do to change your attitude for the better on a daily basis. If you’ve already got a great handle on maintaining a positive attitude, take this week to focus on one or more of the other nine traits of a master networker and think of three ways you can build your effectiveness in these areas. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you might do to implement the ideas in this blog so please share your comments in the forum below. Thanks!